Department Cites Declining UC Claims, Reduced Federal Funding
HARRISBURG, Pa., July 16, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Labor & Industry will close its Philadelphia Unemployment Compensation, or UC, Service Center on Aug. 15. Claimants will see no disruption in benefits and can continue to use online and phone services.
The Philadelphia location is a telephone-based customer service office staffed by 75 department employees, permanent and intermittent, who answer calls from UC claimants. Pennsylvania's improving economy and declining UC claims have resulted in diminished federal funding for UC administration – funding that was used to operate the Philadelphia location.
"The number of UC claims being filed has dropped since the recession's end," said Labor & Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway. "We aren't back to the level of pre-recession claims, but the volume has dropped to the point where the need for higher capacities and greater expense isn't there."
Pennsylvania's initial UC claims have decreased by 40.7 percent since January. Continued claims are down 37.5 percent. At the same time, private-sector jobs have grown 3 percent, ranking the state 16th among the 50 states in post-recession private-sector job growth.
"The department is still operating telephone service centers across Pennsylvania," Hearthway continued. "Plus, claimants are encouraged to use the Internet to file UC claims and to get information they need. We are promoting our 'Online is Easy' campaign to let claimants know that filing online is fast, simple, secure and available any time."
Affected department staff will receive employment services to help them return to the workforce as quickly as possible.
For more information about UC in Pennsylvania, visit www.uc.pa.gov. Claimants without Internet access can call the statewide UC service center network at 888-314-7264. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Media contact: Sara Goulet, 717-787-7530
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry